The first Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II for the Royal Norwegian Air Force is standing with weight on wheels for the first time, Lockheed Martin reported on Thursday 16 April. The jet will now move further down the production line at Lockheed Martin’s mile-long assembly plant in Fort Worth, Texas.
Norway’s first F-35A, known as AM-1, was lifted by an overhead crane on April 9 from an electronic mate and alignment station where its forward and rear fuselage sections were joined to the wing-center fuselage assembly. The aircraft will now travel to final assembly, where its control surfaces will be added, along with final systems and engine installation.
AM-1 is due to roll out of the factory later this year, alongside sister ship AM-2, and both aircraft will initially be based at Luke AFB, Arizona as part of the U.S. Air Force’s F-35 training system currently being established. A third F-35 aircraft for Norway is also in its early stages of production and will roll out of the factory next year.
The Scandinavian country will be the fifth nation to receive the F-35 along with the US, Netherlands, UK and Australia.
Source: Lockheed Martin
Featured image: The future of the Royal Norwegian Air Force. (Image © Lockheed Martin)